Reuters：China's reforms not enough to arrest mounting debt: Moody'sReuter's reports: "China's structural reforms will slow the pace of its debt build-up but will not be enough to arrest it, and another credit rating cut for the country is possible down the road unless it gets its ballooning credit in check, officials at Moody's said. The comments came two days after Moody's downgraded China's sovereign ratings by one notch to A1, saying it expects the financial strength of the world's second-largest economy to erode in coming years as growth slows and debt continues to mount. In announcing the downgrade, Moody's Investors Service also changed its outlook on China from 'negative' to 'stable', suggesting no further ratings changes for some time. China has strongly criticized the downgrade, asserting it was based on 'inappropriate methodology', exaggerating difficulties facing the economy and underestimating the government's reform efforts. In response, senior Moody's official Marie Diron said on Friday that the ratings agency has been encouraged by the 'vast reform agenda' undertaken by the Chinese authorities to contain risks from the rapid rise in debt. However, while Moody's believes the reforms may slow the pace at which debt is rising, they will not be enough to arrest the trend and levels will not drop dramatically, Diron said.Diron said China's economic recovery since late last year was mainly thanks to policy stimulus, and expects Beijing will continue to rely on pump-priming to meet its official economic growth targets, adding to the debt overhang."
USA Today：China tightens border controls with N. Korea: U.S. diplomatUSA Today reports: "Chinese officials have told the U.S. that they’ve tightened inspections and policing along the border with North Korea as part of U.N. sanctions aimed at halting Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile activities, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia said Friday. Beijing’s action reflects a growing awareness about the urgent need for China to pressure North Korea into halting its testing of missiles and nuclear bombs, Acting Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thornton told reporters in Beijing. President Donald Trump’s administration has made a renewed push to enlist Beijing’s help in those efforts following a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping last month. Touching on other areas of the relationship, Thornton said the new administration has not changed its commitment to greater engagement with countries in the Asia-Pacific region or its approach to naval operations in the disputed South China Sea. On North Korea, the U.S. has seen a 'shift in emphasis' in China’s approach to its fellow communist neighbor, Thornton said. 'They’ve said that they have stepped up border inspections, beefed up sort of the policing function on the border, stepped up customs inspections,' she said. Beijing has also done 'a number of other things on companies' that have dealings with North Korea, Thornton said, without giving details."
Foreign Policy：In the South China Sea, the U.S. is Struggling to Halt Beijing’s AdvanceForeign Policy comments: "For the first time since President Donald Trump took office, a U.S. warship has sailed near a Chinese-controlled island in the disputed South China Sea, signaling an attempt to project a more assertive American stance against Beijing just before a major regional defense summit...with defense ministers and senior military officers from across Asia due to meet in Singapore next month, including U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, the administration needed to show it was willing to back up its words with some action and demonstrate that it would uphold the principle of freedom of navigation, experts said. 'This was a good, albeit overdue, move by the Trump Administration,' said Ely Ratner, formerly deputy national security adviser to Joe Biden and now at the Council on Foreign Relations...'This was the big one folks were waiting for,' he said...Ultimately, and despite the belated U.S. mission near Mischief Reef, Washington has few tools at its disposal to convince China to retreat from its years-long acquisition and garrisoning of a spate of tiny reefs and atolls in the South China Sea, one of the world’s busiest waterways. Some experts and lawmakers have urged imposing economic sanctions on Chinese companies taking part in the vast island-building project, but the Trump administration has shown no sign it is ready to consider such a move."
- [USA Today] China tightens border controls with N. Korea: U.S. diplomat
- [Reuters] China's reforms not enough to arrest mounting debt: Moody's
- [Bloomberg] China Money Funneled to Far-Flung Homes Flags Bubble Trouble
- [The Washington Post] Outspoken Chinese law professor, government critic, silenced
- [The New York Times] Can the Paris Climate Deal Survive a Trump-Style Renegotiation?
- [The Associated Press] China executes former police official convicted of murder
- [The Wall Street Journal] China Exerts More Control Over Its Currency With Tweak to Yuan Fix
- [Bloomberg] 'Plant Factories' Churn Out Clean Food in China’s Dirty Cities
- [Reuters] Pivotal Vietnam balances U.S. and China amid Trump uncertainty
- [The Financial Times] Regulator urges China banks to save ailing companies
- [The Wall Street Journal] UPS, China’s S.F. Express Join Forces to Offer Special Delivery Business
- [Al Jazeera] The trio behind North Korea's 21st-century missiles
- [The Financial Times] China arrests 44 over $140m online scam
- [Foreign Policy] In the South China Sea, the U.S. is Struggling to Halt Beijing’s Advance
- [Forbes] U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas To China Is A Game-Changer
- [LA Times] Don't worry, Hollywood. China's not a threat
- [Business Insider] China is on the cusp of its own 'American Dream'
- [The Hill] Ahead of 'Modern Silk Road' build, China credit downgrade worrisome
- [Quartz] Walmart’s future in China increasingly depends on a single Chinese company
- [The Diplomat] Women’s Morality Education Comes Back to Life in China